Even when things are going well, journalists are among the most cynical people around. Add poor morale and job uncertainty and you’ll get one sour bunch.

So why are Union-Tribune newsroom employees feeling hopeful and optimistic this week after yet another painful round of layoffs? Because they’re impressed by new bosses who are more open than the old management and even willing to disclose details of the U-T’s remarkable three-year financial meltdown.

Local redevelopment officials are preparing for losses of their own as the state raids funds destined to help improve blighted areas. San Diego could lose $55 million, potentially sending a number of projects — including a downtown fire station — to the chopping block.

Is your house underwater? You’ve got even more company. According to new data, a whopping 43 percent of properties with mortgages are worth less than their owners owe. That’s up from 31 percent at the end of 2008.

Now to the world of education. In South Bay, high school teachers were planning to protest sluggish contract negotiations. And a commission that oversees state spending on early childhood programs appears to still be cleaning house after a U-T investigation revealed a conflict-of-interest morass.

A quick note about a new feature on our site: Yesterday, we debuted The Agenda, a weekday rundown of the day’s local political news from across the region. Think of it as a Morning Report for politics lovers.

Elsewhere, the NCT says opponents filed reports Monday opposing SDG&E’s plan to prevent wildfires by cutting power to the back country. The foes don’t want SDG&E to do anything before a hearing on Sept. 10.

The SD Business Journal profiles a National City car distribution company where business is booming thanks to the feds.

And the LA Times quotes our own columnist Rich Toscano about how housing prices in different neighborhoods aren’t reaching their low points at the same time. He put it much more colorfully.

Finally, some proof that historic moments don’t always seem that way at the time.

Like other newspapers, the U-T devoted front-page space on Sunday to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.

But four decades ago, the festival barely made a ripple in San Diego’s newspapers.

On Sunday, Aug. 17, 1969, the day after the Woodstock festival began, The San Diego Union ran a brief story titled “300,000 Youths Jam Town” on an inside page in the A section. The next day, the paper found room for a Woodstock story (“Rock Fete Ends On Soggy Note”) on the front page, but it was overshadowed by news about Hurricane Camille, trouble in Northern Ireland, and picketing of President Nixon in San Clemente.

Neither story mentioned any of the performers at the “Woodstock Music & Art Fair,” nor did one at the bottom of the Evening Tribune’s front page the next day, headlined “2 Die at Pop Festival.”

Now, Woodstock is considered one of the landmark events of the sixties, although that “Art Fair” business seems to have never made into our collective memory.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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